Regina Belle

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Regina Belle
Regina Belle.jpg
Belle in concert on the Holland America Line Ship, 2008.
Background information
Born (1963-07-17) July 17, 1963 (age 53)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s) Singer–songwriter, record producer, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1984–present
Labels Columbia
MCA
Peak/Concord
Pendulum/W.D.E.
Associated acts Peabo Bryson, Whitney Houston, James Taylor, Patti Austin, Anita Baker, Phyllis Hyman, Vesta Williams, Freddie Jackson, Lisa Stansfield, Johnny Mathis
Website reginabelle.org

Regina Belle (born July 17, 1963) is an American singer–songwriter and actress who first started her career in the mid–1980s. Known for her singles, "Baby Come to Me" (1989) and "Make It Like It Was" (1990), Belle's most notable for two hit duets, both with Peabo Bryson: "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, recorded in 1987 and "A Whole New World", the main theme of the Disney's animated feature film Aladdin, recorded in 1992, with which Belle and Bryson won the Grammy award.

Early life and education[edit]

Belle was born in Englewood, New Jersey. It was at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church, and then Paterson's Friendship Baptist Church (presided over by Belle's uncle, the Reverend Fred Belle), that Belle began attracting attention with her vocal abilities. She sang her first solo in church at age 8. Belle attended Dwight Morrow High School where she studied trombone, tuba and steel drums.[1] After graduation, she studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music. At Rutgers University, she became the first female vocalist with the school's jazz ensemble. Belle's musical influences include Phyllis Hyman, Billie Holiday, Shirley Caesar, Patti LaBelle, and Nancy Wilson.[2]

She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the duet "Where Did We Go Wrong" with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal.

Career[edit]

In 1987, she released her debut album All by Myself. It includes her first hits "So Many Tears" and "Show Me the Way". In the same year, Belle recorded her first successful duet with Peabo Bryson: the song "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, also released in 1987. The song was her first single to appear on the Adult Contemporary (chart), peaking at #8 and was also her first single to appear in four charts, including the UK Singles, peaking at #85, her best position in this chart until 1989. Her follow-up album, Stay with Me, released in 1989. Belle recorded a duet in 1991 with Johnny Mathis, "Better Together" which appeared on his album Better Together: The Duet Album. Continuing her tradition of duets, Belle teamed up with Peabo Bryson for four songs: "Without You" (in 1987), "I Can't Imagine" (in 1991), "A Whole New World" (in 1992) and "Total Praise" (in 2009). [3][4]

Later in 1993, she released her Platinum selling third album, Passion. The album featured the Disney hit, "A Whole New World".[5] She released Reachin' Back in 1995 followed by Believe in Me in 1998.

Regina Belle performs for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush during a Black Music Month celebration in the East Room of the White House on June 30, 2001.

In 2001, her cover of "Just the Two of Us" from the tribute album To Grover, With Love made a surprising return to the billboard charts, within months Belle would sign with the jazz oriented independent label Peak-Concord Jazz. she released the album This Is Regina!, which featured the R&B hit single, "Ooh Boy" also released were, "Don't Wanna Go Home" and "From Now On" with Glenn Jones. In 2004, she released a jazz standard album, Lazy Afternoon, produced by George Duke. The album included covers of the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You" and Tony Bennett's "If I Ruled the World". In 2007, she collaborated with smooth jazz saxophonist Paul Taylor, co-writing and singing on his album "Ladies Choice".

Belle released her debut gospel album Love Forever Shines on May 13, 2008 via Pendulum Records. The 14-track collection features guests Melvin Williams (of the Williams Brothers) and Shirley Murdock.[6][7]

On June 5, 2012, she released on Pendulum her second gospel album, called "Higher", on which Belle stated: I think that, with the second CD ["Higher"] I had a better understanding of where I wanted to go [compared to "Love Forever Shines"].[8] Belle has appeared in concert with many other performers, including Ray Charles, Boney James, Paul Taylor, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maze, Frankie Beverly, Phil Perry, Al Jarreau, and Stephanie Mills.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Belle resides in Atlanta, Georgia and has been married to former NBA basketball player John Battle since 1991. The couple have four children: Tiy (born 1989), Jayln (born 1991), Sydney (born 1994), and Nyla (born November 10, 1995).[10] Belle has at least two grandchildren.[11]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart Positions[12] US
Certifications[13]
Record Label
US US
R&B
US
Jazz
US
Gospel
UK[14]
1987 All by Myself 85 14 53 Columbia
1989 Stay with Me 63 1 62 Gold
1993 Passion 63 13 Platinum
1995 Reachin' Back 115 18
1998 Believe in Me 42 MCA
2001 This Is Regina! 61 Gold Peak
2004 Lazy Afternoon 58 12
2008 Love Forever Shines 119 15 3 Pendulum
2012 Higher 44 15
2016 The Day Life Began[15] Shanachie Entertainment
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Compilations[edit]

  • 1997: Baby Come To Me: The Best Of Regina Belle
  • 2001: Super Hits
  • 2006: Love Songs

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart positions[12]
US US
R&B
US
A/C
US
Dance
US
Gospel
UK[14]
1986 "Where Did We Go Wrong?" (with The Manhattans) 42
1987 "Show Me the Way" 68 2 97
"So Many Tears" 11
"Without You" (with Peabo Bryson) 89 14 8 85
1988 "How Could You Do It to Me" 21
"After the Love Has Lost Its Shine"
"You Got the Love"
1989 "All I Want Is Forever" (with James "J.T." Taylor) 2 34
"Baby Come to Me" 60 1
"Good Lovin'" 73
"Make It Like It Was" 43 1 5
1990 "What Goes Around" 3
"This Is Love" 7 29
1992 "Better Together" (with Johnny Mathis) 68
"A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" (with Peabo Bryson) 1 21 1 12
1993 "If I Could" 52 9 12
"Quiet Time" 47
"Dream in Color" 63
"The Deeper I Love"
1994 "Far Longer Than Forever duet with Jeffery Osborne"
1995 "Love T.K.O." 29
1998 "Don't Let Go"
"I've Had Enough"
2001 "Oooh Boy" 63
2004 "For the Love of You"
2008 "God Is Good" 83 2
"I Call on Jesus" 17
2012 "Make An Example Out Of Me" 19
"—" denotes the single failed to chart

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
1991 "Make It Like It Was" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
1994 "A Whole New World" (with Peabo Bryson) Record of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Won
1999 Believe in Me Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album Nominated
2002 This is Regina Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album Nominated

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beckerman, Jim. "For Regina Belle, time for a special payback", The Record (Bergen County), October 31, 2004; accessed July 9, 2007
  2. ^ Bryant, Scott Poulsen (1993), "Regina: A showstopper with star power", Essence Magazine 24, no. 4: 56-60; accessed May 6, 2008.
  3. ^ Scott, Ron (2004). "Belle's Lazy afternoon", New York Amsterdam News 95, no. 37: 17; accessed May 5, 2008.
  4. ^ Lopez, Robert. August 3, 2007. "Regina Belle knows about sacrifices", Knight Ridder Tribune Business News; accessed May 6, 2008.
  5. ^ "Regina Belle Artist Chart History". Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Regina Belle Releases Gospel Album: Multi-Grammy Award winner's debut gospel project, 'Love Forever Shines' in stores soon.". EURweb.com. March 7, 2008. 
  7. ^ Quinn, Gwendolynn (March 5, 2008). "Multiple Grammy Winner Regina Belle Releases Debut Gospel Album". The Industry Cosign. 
  8. ^ "Regina Belle on Her New Gospel Album, 'Higher,' and Still Singing Her Secular Songs". YouTube. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  9. ^ Watrous, Peter (July 1, 1991). "Jazz Festival; Ray Charles's Silences, Regina Belle's Wildness". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Profile, Ebony (December 1996).
  11. ^ Harrington, Richard (November 9, 2007). "Free to be Regina Belle". Washington Post. p. WE05. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Regina Belle US chart history". billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  13. ^ "Regina Belle US certification history". riaa.com. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  14. ^ a b "Regina Belle UK chart history". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  15. ^ "The Day Life Began by Regina Belle on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2016-02-24.